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In brief: Japan’s trade deficit larger than forecast

TOKYO – Japan’s trade deficit swelled to a larger-than-forecast $9.8 billion in August, the 14th straight month of red ink, as imports outpaced the growth in exports, customs data showed today.

Boosted by higher fuel costs, imports rose 16 percent from a year earlier, to $68.7 billion, while exports climbed 14.7 percent, to $58.9 billion. The deficit was a quarter bigger than the gap seen in August 2012.

Imperial items unearthed in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO – An ivory toothbrush thought to have belonged to Brazil’s Emperor Pedro II and a minty toothpaste made by a European chemist for the Portuguese queen are among more than 200,000 pieces dating from the 17th through 19th centuries that archaeologists have unearthed from a site in Rio de Janeiro being used for an extension of the city’s subway lines.

A team of more than two dozen archaeologists, historians and others began excavating the plot in northern Rio last March. The plot, once the site of a slaughterhouse, is near the former imperial palace and thought to have once been used as a landfill by the imperial family and others, team members said Wednesday.


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Kim Jong Un says Koreas are on starting line of a new history

UPDATED: 9:53 p.m.

With a single step over a weathered, cracked slab of concrete, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history Friday by crossing over the world’s most heavily armed border to greet South Korean President Moon Jae-in for talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Kim then invited Moon to cross briefly back into the north with him before they returned to the southern side.